Fair Weather Fanning

I schlepped myself out to Baltimore last Sunday to watch Superbowl 47 (I refuse to write it out in roman numerals) with my sister (who has the pleasure of living in charm city.) It was a lot of fun! I brought some foods representative of the city, including “Natty Boh,” some genuine Maryland crabcakes, and UTZ Old Bay “crab” chips. All the finest foods that Baltimore has to offer!

Actually, we watched the real event of the night, Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl IX, which came on before the game.  The remarkable thing about this program is how utterly, shamelessly blatant the plugs are during the show.  From them making sure to show that they’re using a Bissell–who also sponsored the halftime show (when they almost played Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”)–vacuum to clean up errant fur on the field or the referee happily chewing on Ice Breakers to relax after the stress of watching the puppies play, it takes product placement into the realm of parody.

Afterwards we headed out to the Ottobar, which I’d been to years before for one of the BitGen Gamer Fests. It was pretty cool to see the game among the Baltimorons. Obviously, the crowd was really into the game, and I was surprised the kept their cool throughout the infamous power outage and subsequent decrease in domination by the home team.

Continuing on the theme of advertising from the Puppy Bowl, I thought the Clydesdale advertisement for Budweiser was the most schmaltz it was offensive.  People were openly mocking it at the bar, crying out for the horse to see his owner during the parade and then halfheartedly cheering when the reunited (in the most over-the-top manner possible.)  

The highlight of the evening was all the food.  Free food at that!   You see, the Ottobar ran a potluck and the nice people of Baltimore brought in a ton of food to be enjoyed by freeloaders like my sister and I (although we did buy plenty of beer to support the bar.)  Sure, normal people might be skittish about eating something prepared by unknown parties, but how can one say no to a sandwich consisting of bacon, breaded spam, and drowning in sweet BBQ sauce?

Can’t be unseen.

After the game, once the Ravens had barely won, the city was consumed with revelry.  Fireworks were being set off in neighborhoods, horns were being honked in excess, and we even saw someone kneeling in the middle of the street to thank God for his city’s win.  It was a good time.

And then somebody got stabbed and a boy was trampled during the chaos that was the Ravens’ official celebration.

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